Sprouted wheat is rich in nutrients as the sprouting process increases the amount and bio-availability of vitamins and minerals. It is more nutritious than regular wheat grain since certain vitamins and enzymes are produced during the sprouting process. Sprouted wheat is popular with athletes as it is a good source of protein.
Wheat sprouts are delicious and are packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They add a subtle nutty flavor and chewy texture to many dishes. Always rinse your sprouts before using in your favorite dish.
Here are some suggestions for using sprouts: Gently warm sprouted wheat and serve as a side dish, add it to stir-fry’s, or toss it into salads. You can add sprouted wheat to soups, purees, and bread dough. Try eating it plain or seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices as a snack.
Commercial processors mill the sprouted wheat into sprouted grain ﬂour, which can be purchased online, in health food stores, and in many grocery stores. You can use it to make a wide variety of dishes including pancakes, bread, and muffins. Alternately, other companies mash the wet, sprouted grains into a thick purée which is used to make breads, tortillas, muﬃns and other products. These products are often described as “ﬂourless” and are frequently sold frozen.1
Sprouted wheat is made from the seeds, or wheatberries, of the wheat plant. You can purchase wheat berries at many fresh food markets, health food stores, and grocery stores. Wheat berries can often be purchased directly from local farms. The seeds are generally cleaned before they are sold.
Making homamade sprouted wheat:
It’s not at all hard to sprout wheat yourself. The wheat berries must be soaked before they are ready for sprouting. Soak the wheat berries in cold water for 8 to 12 hours. Drain, rinse with water and drain again. Place the soaked wheat berries into a glass jar, put cheesecloth over the top, and fasten in place with a rubber band.
Place the jar in a dark place such as an airing cupboard. Repeat rinsing and draining at least twice a day. The wheat berries will begin to sprout within one to three days after they are soaked. Do not allow the sprouts to grow too large as they can turn bitter if they grow larger than the length of the wheat kernel.
You can store sprouted wheat up to four days in the crisper of your refrigerator.
During the sprouting process, the enzymes in the wheat multiply and the starch converts to sugar. Proteins convert back to their amino acid building blocks, while at the same time the vitamin and mineral content increases. The sprouting process increases many of the grains’ key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, ﬁber, and essential amino acids often lacking in grains, such as lysine. Sprouts contain water, protein, carbohydrates, and unsaturated fatty acids. Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities.1
Wikipedia: According to Chavan and Kadam (1989), most reports agree that sprouting treatment of cereal grains generally improves their vitamin value, especially the B-group vitamins. Certain vitamins such as α-tocopherol (Vitamin-E) and β-carotene (Vitamin-A precursor) are produced during the "growthprocess" (Cuddeford, 1989).2
Dangers / intolerances:
According to Wikipedia, commercially grown sprouts have been associated with multiple outbreaks of harmful bacteria, including salmonella and toxic forms of Escherichia coli. This can be caused by contaminated seeds or unhygienic production processes. Sprout seeds can become contaminated in the fields where they are grown, and sanitizing steps may be unable to kill bacteria hidden in damaged seeds.
Wikipedia: To minimize the impact of the incidents and maintain public health, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada issued industry guidance on the safe manufacturing of edible sprouts and public education on their safe consumption. There are also publications for hobby farmers on safely growing and consuming sprouts at home. The recommendations include development and implementation of good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices in the production and handling of seeds and sprouts, seed disinfection treatments, and microbial testing before the product enters the food supply. 2
Sprouts are rich in digestible energy and nutrients that are essential to human health. The sprouting process increases the amount and bio-availability of vitamins and minerals and makes the grain easier to digest.
According to Shipard (2005):
Sprouts provide a good supply of Vitamins A, E & C plus B complex. Like enzymes, vitamins serve as bioactive catalysts to assist in the digestion and metabolism of feeds and the release of energy. They are also essential for the healing and repair of cells. However, vitamins are very perishable, and in general, the fresher the feeds eaten, the higher the vitamin content. The vitamin content of some seeds can increase by up to 20 times their original value within several days of sprouting. ... Even soaking seeds overnight in water yields greatly increased amounts of B vitamins, as well as Vitamin C. Compared with mature plants, sprouts can yield vitamin contents 30 times higher … When seeds are sprouted, minerals chelate or merge with protein, in a way that increases their function.2
Literature / Sources:
- Whole Grains Council, “SPROUTED WHOLE GRAINS,” accessed November 1, 2018. https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whats-whole-grain-refined-grain/sprouted-whole-grains
- Wikipedia. Sprouting [Internet]. Version dated 09.16.2018